Battery life smackdown: Apple iPad, iPad mini crush all other tablets

“To separate the best from rest, every tablet Which? tests is tested in lab conditions to see how long it lasts when browsing the web on wi-fi and watching videos,” Tim Gee reports for Which? Tech Daily. “To ensure our tests are fair, we set the screen brightness to 200 nits (measured using a light meter) before performing each task, so every tablet has to perform in the same conditions.”

“As the size of the screen can make such an impact on battery life we’ve divided the tablets into two groups, those with a screen size of 7.9-inches and smaller, and those 9.4-inches and larger,” Gee reports. “The Apple iPad with Retina display not only beats the competition comfortably, it surpasses the Apple iPad 2 by almost 4 hours. The iPad 2 still manages around an hour longer than the next nearest challenger.”

Gee reports, “When it comes to 7-inch tablets, Apple is still ahead of the game with the new Apple iPad Mini managing over 13 hours of web browsing and more than 3 hours more than the next best challenger.”

iPad dominates in tablet battery tests

iPad mini dominates in tablet battery tests

Read more, and see the video, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Note also that Apple’s iPad is driving a Retina display and iPad mini’s 7.9-inch display is considerably larger than those peddled by co-called rivals (35% more screen real estate than 7-inch tablets and up to 67% more usable viewing area when browsing the web).

[Attribution: BGR. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David E.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
ITProPortal reviews Apple iPad (4th gen.): ‘The king; the best large tablet you can buy today’ – November 26, 2012
PC Magazine reviews Apple iPad (4th gen.): A very rare 5 star product; a slam dunk Editors’ Choice – November 9, 2012
Review: Apple’s iPad (4th gen.) is faster, stronger, better – November 8, 2012
iPad 4 has processing power to spare; benchmarks show plenty of speed; beats Google Nexus 7, Microsoft Surface – November 6, 2012
Benchmarks: Apple iPad 4′s A6X beats all comers in GPU performance – November 2, 2012
iPad 4 graphics upgrade a serious horsepower increase; Apple’s A6X is one massive processing machine – November 2, 2012

VentureBeat reviews Apple’s iPad mini: The best iPad ever and the best tablet on the market – November 16, 2012
InfoWorld reviews Apple’s iPad mini: Far superior; outclasses Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, Google Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 – November 6, 2012
Thurrott reviews Apple iPod touch and iPad mini: ‘demonstrably better than the competition; incredibly desirable tech devices’ – November 6, 2012
Ars Technica reviews Apple’s iPad mini: You’ll find yourself reaching for it over a full-sized iPad with Retina display – November 6, 2012
24 hours with Apple’s iPad mini: This is the real iPad – November 6, 2012
Why I just dumped my iPad 3 for iPad mini – November 5, 2012
DisplayMate: Apple’s iPad mini offers ‘just a very capable display’ – November 5, 2012
Apple’s iPad mini and ultra-mobile computing – November 5, 2012
Demand for Apple’s new iPad mini is huge – November 5, 2012
The Register reviews Apple’s iPad mini: ‘The tablet even Apple anti-fans won’t be able to leave alone’ – November 5, 2012
Apple sells three million iPads in three days; double previous first weekend sales – November 5, 2012
The Independent reviews Apple’s iPad mini: High-end gadget is worth the price – October 31, 2012
CNET reviews Apple’s iPad mini: The new standard for little-tablet design – October 31, 2012
NYT’s Pogue reviews Apple’s iPad mini: ‘All the iPad goodness in a more manageable size; it’s awesome’ – October 31, 2012
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple’s iPad mini: ‘A splendid choice; terrific for reading, watching movies and playing games’ – October 31, 2012
Mossberg reviews Apple’s iPad mini: ‘An impressive feat; the perfect solution’ – October 31, 2012


  1. It’s amazing how spectacularly Apple’s competitors are failing here. It’s a testament to how great iOS and Apple’s engineering team is and how bad Android and Windows are and the competitor also ran hardware designers are.

  2. All of the recent pro Apple posts are moot as Apple appears to have fallen out of favour with the investment community and if you believe the Android numbers, they appear to have quite a fight on their hands to fend off Google and even MSFT will have something to say. This said, battery life in my world is always driven by how bright I run my screen and whether or not I am running background apps that are not required to run.

    I have 2 iPads ( 3 and 4) a Surface and Sammy G 10.1 (2011) and they all have issues with battery life if I am not paying attention to what I have running for no good reason.

    One thing that impresses me more is the battery life on my mid 2011 MBA and my 2012 MBP 15 RD.

    1. I call BS on “fallen out of favour with the Investment Community”:

      1. Apple employees chose to dump shares prior to tax increases before year end.
      2. Portfolio/institutional managers chose to do the same for a variety of reason.

      1. Time will tell on your use of the word BS as your point is baseless at this point while mine is supported by the last 45 days of activity. Too easy for folks like you to express self righteous comments like these without any facts. Sure a few Apple employees are cashing out but that is so minor that it practically irrelevant.

    2. As far as Apple’s business is concerned, it really doesn’t matter if Apple has “…fallen out of favour with the investment community.” Apple has enough cash to finance its operations and acquisitions internally for many years to come. The stock price will bounce back up and everyone will be happy. Until then buy AAPL or ride APPL.

    3. MacTech, sorry it is you who are moot. Apple has NEVER been ‘in favor’ with the investment community. They lack the vision to understand the most basic concepts of what make Apple, Apple.

      All Apple has to do to succeed and beat down the smarmy know it all bastard analcysts and other WS refuse, is keep making cool products that people love. Soon enough, their debt free mountain of cash will render anything the so called ‘experts’ have to say irrelevant.

      Oh, yeah, and Apple, keep putting away and growing the cash reserves.

  3. Both the iPad with Retina and Mini have great battery life I know from first hand experience. iPhone 5 on the other hand has just average to terrible battery life, it a problem Apple got to fix ASAP on it next iPhone.

    1. I had the same issue. Took it to Apple and they suggested that during setup instead of RESTORING from a previous phone, I should setup manually. Ie manually pick all the Apps and other info as if you never had a phone before. Takes about 20 minutes. The thing is, even though I was sceptical, it worked!

    2. I have a new iPhone 5 with about 35 apps installed. I regularly get 2 full days out of a charge with 5 hours of actual active usage and 19 hours of standby per day.

      You need to check your iPhone for misbehaving apps and bad settings.

  4. Running apps like Flipboard, Zite or others that graze the internet seem to draw the battery pretty fast compared to just watching a video. The latest iteration of the iPad seems to have less battery life than the previous by quite a margin in my experience. Your mileage may vary.

  5. It’s weird that they have the iPad Retina getting better battery life than the iPad mini. My iPad mini is getting much better battery life than my iPad 3 or iPad 4.

    My order of battery life:
    iPad mini
    iPad 4
    iPad 2
    iPad 3
    iPad 1

    1. No so strange when you realize that a full-size iPad has a lot more space available for its battery, and the CPU is the biggest factor in power draw.


  6. You can get less screen real-estate than an iPad Mini, but then you also get less battery life. Hmm, tough choice.

    You can get less performance and a lower resolution screen than an iPad with retina display, but then you get less battery life. Hmm tough choice.

    I feel sad for all the PC era geeks faced with such difficult life changing choices. For the rest of us it always was a no brainer.

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